An Interview with Umm Mohammed: The Wife of Bin laden’s Spiritual Mentor Abdullah Azzam

For the forthcoming book, To the Mountains: My Life in Jihad, from Algeria to Afghanistan by Abdullah Anas and Tam Hussein, (Hurst), 2019, I thought I would add materials that are useful for those who are interested in this seminal period in the history of global jihadism. Below is an article I… Read more“An Interview with Umm Mohammed: The Wife of Bin laden’s Spiritual Mentor Abdullah Azzam”

To the Mountains: My Life in Jihad, from Algeria to Afghanistan

  Description The Algerian Islamist Abdullah Anas, ‘perhaps the greatest warrior of the Afghan Arabs’, fought the Soviet Union for a decade. As one of the earliest Arabs to join the Afghan jihad, he counted as brothers-in-arms the future icons of Al-Qaeda’s global war, from Abdullah Azzam to Osama bin… Read more“To the Mountains: My Life in Jihad, from Algeria to Afghanistan”

Dealing with Syria’s Foreign Fighters: A Liberal Conundrum – an Update

Abstract: The recent arrest of Alexanda Kotey and  El Shafee Elsheikh, the two British Jihadists part of the notorious Beatles, has again raised the debate as to what should be done with Jihadists returning to Europe.  Should they be sent to Guantanamo? Should they be kept where they were caught… Read more“Dealing with Syria’s Foreign Fighters: A Liberal Conundrum – an Update”

Rahmat Akilov’s Trial Raises Important Dilemmas for Swedish Policy Makers

The trial of Rahmat Akilov, the lone wolf terrorist who killed five pedestrians in Stockholm’s equivalent of Oxford Street, last April have just begun. Whilst the trial is expected to continue for several months, it will no doubt raise important questions pertaining to Islamic extremism, terrorism and fundamentalism in Swedish… Read more“Rahmat Akilov’s Trial Raises Important Dilemmas for Swedish Policy Makers”

Problems in the Caliphate: The Issue of Authority 

Abstract: For Muslims in the West especially those who become militant, the question of authority or the lack of it, is an important question. I will use the story of Aine Davis to illustrate some of these issues that young Muslims are grappling with. Case Study: Aine Davis It always… Read more“Problems in the Caliphate: The Issue of Authority “

An Interview with Youssef Rakha: Author of The Book of the Sultan’s Seal

Youssef Rakha is the author of The Book of the Sultan’s Seal: Strange Incidents from History in the City of Mars.  Cairo where Rakha lives and works, is at the heart of much of his work. His vision is particularly interesting in the light of the Egyptian revolution. It echoes the general dissatisfaction… Read more“An Interview with Youssef Rakha: Author of The Book of the Sultan’s Seal”

A Glimpse into Performance Art in the Muslim World: A Clash of the Profane and the Sacred

Cultural historians have often focused attention on Islam’s achievements in architecture, craftsmanship and calligraphy. However, except for poetry scant attention has been given to Islamic culture’s contribution to performance art: theatre, music and dance. This is partly because of the perception that Islam has an aversion to these art forms…. Read more“A Glimpse into Performance Art in the Muslim World: A Clash of the Profane and the Sacred”

Review: All the Battles my Maan Abu Taleb

There are things All the Battles by Maan Abu Taleb is not. It is not a cliched story based on a Rocky film. It is not an Arab version of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club in which the protagonist discovers fighting in order to feel “alive”.  Whilst Abu Taleb’s first novel… Read more“Review: All the Battles my Maan Abu Taleb”

Into the Heart of Darkness: Working Notes on Three ISIS Jihadists.

Raqqah has fallen. There are many jihadists who will look at this loss with a sense of bitterness. Some foreign fighters are pragmatic. Is the Jihad over? “It goes on” they say, “till the Day of Judgment.” For some though the fall of Raqqah isn’t good news. From the earth… Read more“Into the Heart of Darkness: Working Notes on Three ISIS Jihadists.”